OPEN CITY: increasing citizens’ participation in local development

East Europe Foundation (EEF) introduces innovative mechanisms for citizen engagement in local community development through information and communication technologies (ICT). By means of an innovative web tool www.opencity.in.ua, EEF helps to make local authorities closer to residents and creates proactive mechanism to address most crucial for local communities issues. As of November 2016 the project unites 39 Ukrainian cities and four amalgamated communities.

In 2015-2016:

• On average, over 5500 registered platform users post weekly 50 requests regarding local problems which need to be addressed either by the local authorities or by way of uniting the efforts of local community.
• The Association of Open Cities was created with already 12 Ukrainian cities being active participants of the Association. East Europe Foundation will further foster the Association’s institution development and performing its major tasks and objectives which include facilitation of new communication technologies for local authorities and citizens, design and development of innovative mechanisms of financing e-governance projects, promotion of mutual use of the Open City Platform by all Association members.
• Open Government Partnership Initiative recommends dissemination and replication of the project among other Ukrainian cities.

In 2014-2015:

• 19 cities joined the project.
• During the life of the project, approximately 3000 requests regarding local problems were published, 1698 requests are being processed, and over 1000 problems were successfully tackled.
• Association of Open Cities has bee launched. One of the key tasks is to facilitate new communication technologies for local authorities and citizens, design and development innovative mechanisms of financing e-governance projects, promote mutual use of Open City Platform by all Association members.
• Open Government Partnership Initiative recommends dissemination and replication of the project among other Ukrainian cities
How www.opencity.in.ua operates:
• Firsltly, local citizens need to register to interact with the platform
• Registered user might raise and describe specific problems of its community by smartphone or PC illustrating it with video or photo.
• This message will be directed to the appropriate department of their city council, which in its turn accept the problem and start solving it
• All the signals raised by citizens are visible on the city map and have three colors which mean three statuses of the problem: the problem is raised, the problem is accepted by appropriate department of the city council for further fixing and the problem is closed.
• The web-paltform is also aimed to provide citizens with an effective instrument to help them unite and solve crucial problems themselves.
How the project works:
• Based on the open grant competition results EEF selects regional partners from NGOs. One of the main requirement is a strong political to support the project declared by local authorities.
• Three parties – EEF, local NGOs and local authorities – sign a memorandum of intentions which describes their obligations and further steps of the project development
• EEF’s NGO partners from the pilot cities work to promote effective cooperation with local authorities, moderate the use of www.opencity.in.ua in their city, inform and teach people to use the system, and coordinate local initiatives to resolve problems through self-organized citizens groups.
• The project continues to grow and engage new cities. The functionality of the www.opencity.in.ua is constantly upgrading by adding new features in particular mobile version for smartphones, new layers like “useful objects”, etc.

The project is supported by C.S.Mott Foundation, DTEK in cities where the company operates and PROMIS Project

List of NGOs – “Open City” regional partners

Vinnytsia oblast
Bar – NGO “Community Foundation” Bari ”
Volyn oblast
Lutsk – Lutsk Municipal NGO “Center of Political Analysis and Election Consulting”
Dnipropetrovsk oblast
Pavlohrad – Agency of Pavlograd Economic Development
Nikopol city – NGO “Chysto. Nikopol”
Zakarpattia oblast
Uzhgorod – Youth Initiative Center “For the professional activity”
Velykyi Bereznyi – Youth Initiative Center “For the professional activity”
Mukachevo – NGO “National Council of Mukachivschyna”
Perechyn – Charitable Foundation “Center of Public Initiatives”
Chop – Youth Initiative Center “For the professional activity”
Zaporizhzhia oblast
Zaporizhzhya – Zaporizhzhya Charity Foundation “Unity” for the future ”
Vilniansk – Zaporizhia Charitable Foundation “Unity” for the future ”
Enerhodar – NGO “Agency of Local Development of Enerhodar”
Melitopol – Zaporizhia Charitable Foundation “Unity” for the future ”
Primorsk – NGO Center of Public Opinion Poll “Free people”
Molochansk – Zaporizhia Charitable Foundation “Unity” for the future”
Veselivska amalgamated community – Zaporizhia Charitable Foundation “Unity” for the future ”
Voskresenska amalgamated community – Zaporizhia Charitable Foundation “Unity” for the future ”
Ivano-Frankivsk oblast
Burshtyn – Agency of Local Economic development of the city Burshtin
Dolyna – NGO “Reform Support and Development Centre”
Kolomyia – NGO “Kolomyia Economic Development Association”
Kyiv oblast
Brovary – Brovary Municipal NGO “Community activists”
Nemyshaevo village Borodyanka district – NGO “Ukrainian initiative”
Lviv oblast
Drohobych – NGO “Youth Ukrainian Breakthrough”
Kamyanka-Buzka – Regional Development Agency of Kamyanka-Buzka District
Novoyavorivsk, Yavoriv district – Agency of Local Economic Development of Yavoriv
Sambir – NGO “Sambor Agency of Development and European Integration”
Dobrotvir village Kamyaka-Buzka District – Regional Development Agency of Kamyanka-Buzka District
Odesa oblast
Baltska amalgamated community – Chernivtsi Municipal NGO “Association” Ukrainian National House in Chernyvtsi ”
Poltava oblast
Karlivka city – NGO “Karlivka public control”
Myrhorod city – Youth NGO “For our Future”
Rivne oblast
Kuznetsovsk – NGO “Together!”
Sarny – Youth NGO “Smart”
Sumy oblast
Sumy – NGO “Public Office” Pravozakhyst ”
Trostyanets – Trostyanets District NGO “Voice of the Community”
Ternopil oblast
Ternopil – NGO “Institute of city development”
Kherson oblast
Skadovsk – NGO “Myr Domu”
Khmelnytsky oblast
Khmelnytskyi – NGO “Khmelnytska Initiative”
Slavuta – NGO “Liga aktivnykh slavutchan”
Cherkasy oblast
Cherkasy – Cherkasy Regional Organization NGO “Civic Network” OPORA ”
Chernivtsi oblast
Chernivtsi – Chernivtsi Municipal NGO “Association” Ukrainian People House in Chernivtsi ”
Vyzhnytsia – Chernivtsi Municipal NGO “Association” Ukrainian People House in Chernivtsi ”
Hlyboka amalgamated community – Chernivtsi Municipal NGO “Association” Ukrainian National House in Chernivtsi ”
Chernihiv region
Chernihiv city – NGO “Volunteer Center “Unity “